The Grapevine Group is a locally-founded grassroots volunteer group that raises funds and awareness for suicide-prevention in the Mackay area. It relies entirely on community support and has operated since 2004. Local trainers also present free safeTALK suicide alertness training to anyone in the district.
Laurence Manning, Grapevine Chairman, noted that the suicide prevention initiative had proved a success in schools around Australia and internationally. The program will be offered to high school students aged 15 and over. “Suicide is a prevalent issue in our local Mackay community which records a higher than average suicide rates,” said Manning. “SafeTALK has been delivered in Northern Territory high schools with tremendous results and we look forward to our region doing the same.”
Manning said invitees to the breakfast included a range of key stakeholders from across the local education sector, such as school principals and service providers in mental health.
“The event will be an opportunity for school principals and guidance counsellors to gain insight into the benefits to their student body by encouraging the topic of suicide to be discussed,” continued Manning.
“SafeTALK will give school staff and students alike the skills to identify someone who may be suicidal, how to talk with them correctly and then link them to appropriate resources,” he noted, adding that research had found that discussing the sensitive issue of suicide did not lead to increasing numbers of incidents taking place.
Richard van der Draay
The Grapevine Group will launch the SafeTALK suicide prevention workshop to high schools at a so-called Brekky Wrap event being to be held at the Harrup Park Country Club on Thursday, 8 October.